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Posts Tagged ‘miracle’

Elder Arsenie – On Suffering

October 18, 2009 Leave a comment

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The Protection of the Most Holy Theotokos

October 1, 2009 Leave a comment

” Today the Virgin stands in the midst of the Church, and with choirs of Saints she invisibly prays to God for us. Angels and Bishops venerate Her, Apostles and prophets rejoice together, Since for our sake she prays to the Eternal God!”



From time immemorial, the Church has celebrated the Most-holy Theotokos as the patroness and protectress of the Christian people, who, by her intercessory prayers, implores God’s mercy for us sinners.

The help of the Most-holy Mother of God has been clearly shown numerous times, to individuals and to nations, in peace and in war, in monastic deserts and in densely populated cities.

The event that the Church commemorates and celebrates today confirms the Theotokos’ consistent protection of Christian people. On October 1, 911, during the reign of Emperor Leo the Wise, there was an All-night Vigil in the Blachernae Church of the Mother of God in Constantinople. The church was full of people. St. Andrew the Fool-for-Christ was standing in the rear of the church with his disciple Epiphanius. At four o’clock in the morning, the Most-holy Theotokos appeared above the people, holding her omophorion outstretched as a protective covering for the faithful.

She was clothed in gold-encrusted purple, and shone with an ineffable radiance, surrounded by apostles, saints, martyrs and virgins. St. Andrew said to Blessed Epiphanius: ``Do you see, brother, the Queen and Lady of all praying for the whole world?”

Epiphanius replied: ``I see, Father, and am struck with amazement!”

The Feast of the Protection was instituted to commemorate this event, and to remind us that we can prayerfully receive the unceasing protection of the Most-holy Theotokos in any time of difficulty.


On the Feast of the Protection of the Most Holy Theotokos we implore the defense and assistance of the Queen of Heaven,

“Remember us in your prayers, O Lady Virgin Mother of God, that we not perish by the increase of our sins. Protect us from every evil and from grievous woes, for in you do we hope, and venerating the Feast of your Protection, we magnify you.”


Categories: Orthodox Feasts

The Appearance of the Most Holy Theotokos to St Sergius of Radonezh

August 24, 2009 Leave a comment

Once, late at night, St Sergius (1314-1392) was reading an Akathist to the Mother of God. Having finished his habitual rule, he sat down to rest a bit, but suddenly he said to his disciple, St Micah (May 6): “Be alert, my child, for we shall have a wondrous visitation.” Scarcely had he uttered these words than a voice was heard: “The All-Pure One approaches!”

St Sergius rushed from the cell to the entrance, and suddenly it was illumined by a bright light, brighter than the sun. He beheld nearby in imperishable glory the Mother of God, accompanied by the Apostles Peter and John. Unable to bear such a vision, St Sergius reverently prostrated himself before the Mother of God.

She said to him, “Fear not, My chosen one! I have come to visit you. Your prayer for your disciples and your monastery has been heard. Do not be troubled, for your habitation shall prosper, not only in your lifetime, but also after your departure to God. I will be with your monastery, supplying its needs abundantly, and protecting it.” Having said this, the Mother of God became invisible.

For a long time St Sergius was in an inexpressible rapture, and having come to himself, he raised up St Micah. “Tell me, Father,” he asked, “what is the meaning of this miraculous vision? My soul nearly left my body from terror!” But St Sergius was silent, and only his luminous face spoke of the spiritual joy which he had experienced. “Wait a bit,” he said finally to his disciple, “my soul also trembles because of this wondrous vision.”

After a while St Sergius summoned two of his disciples, Sts Isaac and Simon, and shared with them the vision and the promise of the Theotokos. They all sang a Molieben to the Mother of God. St Sergius spent the remaining part of the night without sleep, calling to mind the divine vision.

The appearance of the Mother of God at the cell of St Sergius, at the present place of the Serapionov chamber, was on one of the Fridays of the Nativity Fast in the year 1385. The commemoration of the visit of the Mother of God to the Trinity monastery and of Her promise was reverently kept by the disciples of St Sergius.

On July 5, 1422 the holy relics of St Sergius were uncovered, and soon after an icon of the Appearance of the Mother of God was placed on the grave of St Sergius. The icon was honored with great reverence.

In memory of the visit of the Mother of God at the Trinity-Sergiev monastery, an Akathist to the Most Holy Theotokos is sung on Fridays, and a special service in honor of the appearance of the Mother of God is celebrated at the monastery on August 24, on the second day of the leave-taking of the Feast of the Dormition of the Most Holy Theotokos.


Categories: Spirituality